Study identifies more than a hundred new genes that determine hair color

A team of scientists have discovered 124 genes that play a major role in determining human hair colour variation, according to Science Daily.

The discovery sheds new light on our understanding of the genetic complexity underpinning variations in human pigmentation, and could advance our knowledge of conditions linked to pigmentation, such as skin, testicular, prostate and ovarian cancers. The new findings are also relevant for forensic sciences.

Although previous studies have found that a large percentage of hair colour variation is explained by heritable factors, previous genetic studies only identified a dozen or so hair colour genes.

Extinct monitor lizard had four eyes, fossil evidence shows

Researchers have evidence that an extinct species of monitor lizard had four eyes, a first among known jawed vertebrates. Today, only the jawless lampreys have four eyes, according to Science Daily.

The third and fourth eyes refer to pineal and parapineal organs, eye-like photosensory structures on the top of the head that play key roles in orientation and in circadian and annual cycles. The new findings help to elucidate the evolutionary history of these structures among vertebrates.

The photosensitive pineal organ is found in a number of lower vertebrates such as fishes and frogs, the researchers explain. It's often referred to as the "third eye" and was widespread in primitive vertebrates.

Breakthrough study suggests life may be more widespread in the universe than thought

A new study about the origins of the Earth's oceans suggests there is even more chance of life existing beyond this solar system than previously thought, according to Daily Mail.

Scientists now know that liquid surface water was present on Earth before the planet-scale 'giant impact' that created the moon.

Previously it was believed some - if not all - of the water in the ocean came from later bombardments of asteroids and comets.

The fact that liquid water can survive catastrophic impacts by planet-sized bodies means it should be abundant on worlds in other star systems.

Scientists develop tiny tooth-mounted sensors that can track what you eat

Monitoring in real time what happens in and around our bodies can be invaluable in the context of health care or clinical studies, but not so easy to do. That could soon change thanks to new, miniaturized sensors developed by researchers that, when mounted directly on a tooth and communicating wirelessly with a mobile device, can transmit information on glucose,  and salt intake. Researchers note that future adaptations of these sensors could enable the detection and recording of a wide range of nutrients, chemicals and physiological states, according to Science Daily.

Previous wearable devices for monitoring dietary intake suffered from limitations such as requiring the use of a mouth guard, bulky wiring, or necessitating frequent replacement as the sensors rapidly degraded. Engineers sought a more adoptable technology and developed a sensor with a mere 2mm x 2mm footprint that can flexibly conform and bond to the irregular surface of a tooth. In a similar fashion to the way a toll is collected on a highway, the sensors transmit their data wirelessly in response to an incoming radiofrequency signal.

Interstellar asteroid, 'Oumuamua, likely came from a binary star system

New research finds that 'Oumuamua, the rocky object identified as the first confirmed interstellar asteroid, very likely came from a binary star system, according to Science Daily.

"It's remarkable that we've now seen for the first time a physical object from outside our Solar System," says lead author Dr Alan Jackson.

A binary star system, unlike our Sun, is one with two stars orbiting a common centre.

For the new study, Jackson and his co-authors set about testing how efficient binary star systems are at ejecting objects. They also looked at how common these star systems are in the Galaxy.

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